It is hard to imagine a time
When opportunity was not available to all.
It is difficult to envision an era
When it was not possible for
All to reach for the sky.
The hard fought battles of yesteryear
Have long been forgotten by today’s generation.
However, we are much obliged to those
Who paved the way for equality for all citizens of this nation.
In every city, community, and family
There are those who sacrificed so that
Their children and grandchildren could
Enjoy the fruits of their labor.
I have heard stories passed down
From generation to generation
On front porches and church stoops
Across this great land
Of how our predecessors put their livelihood
And their very existence in danger
So that those after them would enjoy
The dignity of being first-class citizens.
Stories of mothers and grandmothers
Shouldering the extra workload
So their children could benefit
From an education that was not available to them,
Knowing that the victories they won
Might not be enjoyed firsthand.
To my ancestors of this nation,
I say thank you.
Thank you for sacrificing
So your children and grandchildren would not have to.
Your struggles will never be forgotten
And for that we are much obliged.